The road home

Ella Schulte , News Writer 

“If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord.” Romans 14:8 

On Wednesday, November 20 the Xavier community gathered together in the Ron Thillen Gymnasium to commemorate the lives of XHS faculty, alumni and special friends who have fallen asleep in the hope of resurrection as part of the annual Thanksgiving & Memorial Mass.

Presided by St. Ludmila’s Father Kenneth Glaser, the homily touched upon the evolution of Thanksgiving and the significance of staying true to one’s own roots by never taking for granted all that they have been given. 

“As we celebrate this liturgy and as we give thanks to God for our blessings, may we never forget those that are hungry and homeless, especially those right here in Cedar Rapids, Iowa,” Glaser said. “As we sit here today, we are the blessed people, may we never take that for granted.”   

Also in attendance was Voce, a select choral ensemble at Xavier, who provided music for the service.

One song sung in particular was Stephen Paulus’s “The Road Home.” 

With this piece comes tradition within the Vocal Music Department, as it is sung at the funerals of fallen Saints, as well as each class’s graduation ceremony.  

An excerpt taken from the text reads, “Rise up, follow me/Come away, is the call/With the love in your heart/As the only song/There is no such beauty/As where you belong/Rise up, follow me/I will lead you home.”

Following the culmination of the Mass, a small banquet was held in the practice gym for all guests who came to commemorate the lives of their loved ones.   

“To me, the Memorial Mass means paying respect to the families and friends we have lost in the Xavier community and lifting them up in our prayers,” Xavier Learning Coach Mrs. Ally Callanan said.  

When asked what advice she would give to Saints who are currently grieving, Callanan said to pray and lean on one another.  

Whether students, staff or guests attended the mass in hopes of giving thanks or gaining a sense of comfort, one thing was made clear, for “There is no such beauty/As where you belong.”

“Rise up, follow me/I will lead you home.”